A Verwood teenager has told the heart-breaking story of when she found out that she and her six-year-old brother share the same life-shortening condition in a moving new film by Julia’s House.

Annabelle Hover, 14, and her mum and dad, Lisa and Andy, have shared their story in the Dorset and Wiltshire children’s hospice charity’s Christmas appeal.

Annabelle has Juvenile Batten disease, a devastating condition which has taken her sight and causes seizures and dementia.

She is expected to live until her late teens or early twenties.

Tragically, Annabelle’s younger brother Robbie has now been diagnosed with the same condition and is already registered blind.

The siblings are two of just 42 children in the UK known to have this type of Juvenile Batten disease.

The Hover family have now bravely fronted the Julia’s House Christmas fundraising appeal and are asking the public to help raise money for the life-changing care and support that the charity provides to families like theirs.

“Each Christmas becomes more precious than the last because we don’t know how many more we have left together,” explains dad, Andy.

Mum Lisa continues: “I can’t believe what has happened to our family – the impact on all of us. We're on an emotional rollercoaster trying to protect Robbie. We do not want him to see the fear we have, and Annabelle is a daily reminder of what's to come.

“Having Julia's House care for Robbie too is a comfort because when Annabelle has gone, he will have that level of understanding and support at a really difficult time. We all will.”

One of four children, Annabelle attends a youth club at Julia’s House where she can be like any other teenager, meeting friends and listening to music by her favourite band, The Vamps.

The care team also visit Annabelle and Robbie at home to give their parents some precious respite time and help them make the most of every moment they have together.

Julia’s House receives just 5% government funding, and relies on fundraising, donations and gifts in wills for the vast majority of the money needed to run its vital service and provide support for people like Annabelle and Robbie

You can view the Christmas appeal on Julia’s House’s website where you will also be able to donate.